The Truth About CoolSculpting

The Truth About CoolSculpting

When CoolSculpting was first cleared by the FDA in 2010, many were skeptical. After all, it seemed too good to be true. A painless, non-surgical procedure that makes fat disappear?

The technology sounded like science fiction, not reality.

But after more than a decade and 13 million procedures, CoolSculpting has been proven as an effective way to reduce stubborn fat tissue.

Even so, it can still seem more like magic than science. That’s why we’ve put together this guide on the truth about CoolSculpting. Let’s clear up some of the mystery behind the treatment once and for all.

What is CoolSculpting?

CoolSculpting is a non-invasive cosmetic treatment that reduces visible fat bulges.

The name comes from the technology behind the procedure; CoolSculpting machines literally freeze fat cells to sculpt and contour the body. Developed in the late 2000s by a pair of doctors, CoolSculpting has helped millions of people feel more comfortable and confident in their own skin—without any needles, surgery, or downtime.

As of today, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has cleared CoolSculpting for the treatment of visible fat bulges in the following nine areas:

  • Under the jawline
  • Under the chin
  • The upper arms
  • The back
  • The chest area
  • The abdomen
  • The flank/sides (love handles)
  • The thighs (inner, outer, and distal)
  • Underneath the buttock (banana roll)

Fat in these areas can be more challenging to eliminate—even with regular exercise and a healthful diet—which is why CoolSculpting is recommended for use on these body parts specifically.

How Does CoolSculpting Work?

CoolSculpting is the patented brand name for this fat reduction process. However, the mechanism behind CoolSculpting is called cryolipolysis.

In cryolipolysis, fat cells are gradually cooled to between 30.2 and 39.2 degrees Fahrenheit. When fat cells freeze, they undergo apoptosis (controlled cell death). Eventually, the body eliminates these dead cells and the target area appears slimmer.

Cryolipolysis works because your fat cells are more vulnerable to cold than your skin, muscles, nerves, or other tissue. Your fat reacts to the below-freezing temperatures of the CoolSculpting machine, but the rest of your body does not.

What to Expect at a CoolSculpting Treatment

Here’s a step-by-step breakdown of a typical CoolSculpting experience:

  • Step 1: Assessment and Consultation – You’ll start with a thorough consultation where your CoolSculpting expert will ensure you understand the procedure and address any concerns. At this stage, your provider will also map out the target areas and determine which areas to treat.
  • Step 2: Application of Protective Barriers – As an added layer of protection, your Coolsculpting expert will apply a pre-treatment ointment to the treatment area. They’ll also place a gel pad onto the treatment area to shield the skin from direct contact with the applicator.
  • Step 3: Cryolipolysis – Next, your CoolSculpting expert will use the applicator on the target area. At first, you’ll feel a slight suction. Then, you’ll experience a chilling sensation for about five minutes before the area goes numb. After a total of 35 minutes, your provider will remove the CoolSculpting handpiece.
  • Step 4: Deep Tissue Massage – To bring blood flow back to the area and start lymphatic drainage (the process by which the dead fat cells are eliminated), your provider will briefly massage the area that has been treated. Afterward, you can leave immediately—there’s no waiting or downtime required.

Six weeks after your initial treatment, you’ll come for a reassessment to determine if another procedure is necessary.

How Many Treatments Do You Need?

In most cases, you will need two CoolSculpting procedures. The technology is extremely effective, and even a single session in an area can make a significant difference.

With that said, most patients go through two, three, or even more treatments to achieve the look they want. Overall, the number of CoolSculpting treatments you’ll need depends on:

  • Your body
  • Your desired results
  • The number of areas you hope to target

To better understand the number of treatments you’ll need to meet your goals, you’ll want to book a consultation with a CoolSculpting expert.

Who Is a Good Candidate for CoolSculpting, and Who Isn’t?

CoolSculpting is meant to reduce visible fat bulges, not serve as a weight loss treatment.

As such, the best candidates for CoolSculpting are active, healthy people who can’t seem to lose unwanted pockets of fat in particular areas through diet and exercise alone.

CoolSculpting is not recommended for people who are obese or who suffer from conditions that cause intolerance to cold temperatures, such as Raynaud’s phenomenon or cryoglobulinemia. Additionally, you shouldn’t undergo CoolSculpting on parts of your body with:

  • Cuts, scrapes, or injuries
  • Skin lesions
  • Varicose veins
  • Eczema
  • Psoriasis

If you’re unsure if CoolSculpting is right for you, schedule a consultation at a reputable medical aesthetic clinic with CoolSculpting certified providers.

Frequently Asked Questions About CoolSculpting

Still feeling unsure about CoolSculpting? Here are some answers to the most common questions we hear.

Will CoolSculpting Help Me Lose Weight?

Yes… and no. As your body eliminates the frozen fat cells in the months following your treatment, you will inevitably lose a few pounds.

However, CoolSculpting is not a weight loss treatment. While you will generally weigh two to five pounds less after CoolSculpting, weight loss is not the goal. Instead, you’ll have fewer visible fat bulges (which can ultimately give you the appearance of losing weight).

Will the Fat Removed by CoolSculpting Come Back?

Cryolipolysis destroys the targeted fat cells. Once fat cells freeze and die, they will not come back.

With that said, CoolSculpting does not make it impossible for new fat cells to form. So, to maintain the results of a CoolSculpting procedure, you’ll want to continue living a healthful lifestyle that includes regular exercise and a balanced diet.

Are There Any Risks or Side Effects Associated with CoolSculpting?

CoolSculpting is a safe, well-studied, FDA-cleared treatment that reputable medical aesthetic clinics around the world use every day. While most patients experience no issues, there are some potential side effects that can come with CoolSculpting, including temporary:

  • Redness
  • Bruising
  • Tenderness
  • Tingling
  • Reduced feeling

One rarer (but more serious) potential side effect is paradoxical fat hyperplasia. Also called paradoxical adipose hyperplasia (PAH), this adverse event can cause patients to gain fat tissue after treatment. A 2020 study published in the Aesthetic Surgery Journal found that 0.05% to 0.39% of treatments can lead to PAH.

If PAH does occur, it can be treated with liposuction technology. However, aside from the undesired visual outcome, PAH poses no known health risks.

Overall, CoolSculpting is very low-risk. And if you work with a skilled CoolSculpting provider who has experience and training with CoolSculpting technology, the risk potential shrinks even more. Choosing the right provider should be your number one concern when considering CoolSculpting.

What’s the Difference Between CoolSculpting Elite and CoolSculpting Legacy Systems?

When researching CoolSculpting, you might see references to CoolSculpting Elite and “Legacy” CoolSculpting.

CoolSculpting Elite is simply the newest cryolipolysis machine developed by the manufacturers of CoolSculpting. A legacy CoolSculpting machine is an older machine.

Aside from the name, there’s actually very little difference between Elite and Legacy systems for the patient. The effectiveness and technology are essentially the same. For the provider, the Elite system offers a more streamlined, intuitive experience, including the ability to use two applicators at a time (a process known as Dual Sculpting). Derma Health Skin & Laser offers Dual Sculpting treatments, which essentially cut your treatment time in half. You’ll learn more about this during your initial consultation.

Trust Derma Health Skin & Laser with Your CoolSculpting Journey

CoolSculpting is rooted in years of scientific research. Millions of people have enjoyed the benefits of CoolSculpting, and millions more will continue to experience this game-changing fat reduction treatment.

If you’d like to become one of them, consider talking to the CoolSculpting experts at Derma Health Skin & Laser. Our providers are CoolSculpting University Certified and have countless hours of experience providing CoolSculpting treatments on thousands of satisfied patients. From your initial consultation to your follow-up appointment, we work to ensure you feel comfortable, confident, and happy with the results.

To find out more about CoolSculpting and determine if it’s right for you, we invite you to fill out our form to set up a consultation. To learn more about how to save on your CoolSculpting treatment, click here.